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Chasing Dreams in Lefkas [Kindle Edition]

Diane Griffith
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This escapist book will provide readers with a candid look into the author’s experiences while living a rough existence on the lesser-known Greek island of Lefkas. The landscape is evocatively Greek, the characters so real you feel you know them. Gently paced and full of descriptive narrative this perfect holiday read has the Shirley Valentine appeal with ‘something different.’ A feel good happy read for anyone who wants to escape the daily grind and ‘opt out’ with the author and enjoy all the varied experiences without suffering the hardships. Everyday Greek expressions and words written phonetically add to the enjoyment.

Shortly before her husband Tony turned fifty, he was made redundant from an IT managerial position in Liverpool. They had reached rock bottom so there was nowhere else to go in life but up.
The author, Diane thought of an idea to relieve Tony’s increasing depression and to try to earn a living. The idea came from hearing that a little boy who was autistic had spoken for the first time about his holiday after seeing a video that Diane and Tony sent the family.
So, they decided to put the idea into practice and visit the island where they had spent a holiday the previous year.
They sold Tony’s precious Mercedes car and bought an 18 year old VW camper van which they packed with video equipment and drove from Cheshire, England to the Greek island of Lefkas They had flown there before in 4 hours; this time they did it the hard way, especially since Tony has limited use of his right arm. It took 4 days. There they lived rough for three months.
They made videos of the island, adding personal moments for people doing all the editing in the VW camper in the sweltering heat thanks to a generator.
The first night of showing the video from a portable TV, placed above the sink in the van, facing a cobbled street, they caused quite a sensation in the sleepy little bay of Agios Nikitas. It was mainly because the children of the village drew such attention; something exciting and new had happened. To their delight the idea had worked and looked as though it was going to be very profitable.
They had no idea what lay ahead?
Diane had previously learnt the Greek language which was a valuable asset during this venture.

From there they traveled all over the island trying their luck at various places and having some mixed experiences, some humorous, some disastrous, some astonishing some wonderful, but all of them extremely memorable.
If she had not written this book she would have always looked back and wondered why she hadn’t. Their dreams had called and they had heard and followed. Did they find the secret of true happiness? Or were they merely chasing dreams?

Product Description

From the Publisher

This inspiring and true adventure story is about the author and her husband's journey to find beauty and meaning on the little known island of Lefkas.
Who hasn't dreamt of 'opting out' on a Greek island? Expect a new and refreshing voice, written with humour from Diane Griffith. The Greek people are portrayed with all the quirkiness that make them so endearing.
The realistic descriptions of the people and places in the evocatively Greek environment take you right there with them, sharing in this heart-warming venture.
The text moves along at a comfortable pace, and the prose is vivid and full of memorable images that contrast the island's beauty with their travelling hardships, in their 18 year-old VW camper van..
Follow them on their journey and find out if they found the secret of true happiness, or were they merely chasing dreams?

From the Author

I wrote this book when all the memories were vivid in my mind, because I wanted to share our amazing adventure and many varied experiences with other dreamers who might have liked to do somehing like this. When you have lost all things material, you can gai so much more, but you have to be determined and you have to have a dream!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2288 KB
  • Print Length: 219 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1606930478
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #165,649 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, spent my childhood in Wales being of a Welsh mother and grew up in Merseyside, England. I inherited my late father's Liverpudlian humour and positive attitude to life. By speaking Welsh and English as a child I believe it helped me to learn the Greek Language. Now I live in Paphos, Cyprus with my husband Tony. Sadly my lovely mother, Eleanor, who lived with us here for 5 years, passed away on 4th July 2010 aged almost 90.
I have one son, Jamie Lambert who is a singer/guitarist and had a cafe/bar, in The Philippines. He has recently returned to live in Cyprus with his lovely wife.
I have been married four times, which shows that if at first I don't succeed...

I wrote 'Chasing Dreams in Lefkas,' a true adventure story set on a Greek island.
For us it was a way out of a depressing situation that many people two decades later are facing. I hope my book will encourage them to take a challenge and do something that they might never have done. Then they can look back and say," I'm glad we had that recession," or, at least it might make them smile!

This MS lay in our attic since I wrote it in 1992 when the memories were fresh in my mind.
In 2008 my Greek teacher suggested that I send it to a Literary Agency in the USA. To my delight it was accepted, and published by AEG Publishers that same year. - It was my first attempt at writing, because I simply wanted to tell our story. I could have written it a lot better these days with modern technology. - My writing has improved since then, but sadly the situation of redundancies has not...
Now available on Kindle
I have made some corrections 20th July 2013 to the Kindle Edition - The book was written in 1992.(the hard way)I could not afford to have the paperback version corrected, since the proceeds small as they are, help me to save dogs and cats.
This is the link to video trailer:

"It Mattered Yesterday" is a romantic, sensual story based on my life, so it is written from my heart.
Since it is based in Liverpool from 60's to 80's with all the memorabilia of the time, it was mentioned on Radio Merseyside/City in January 2011.
It is about people and feelings. And, about not giving up hope. If you have a will to go on, you can overcome the very darkest hour. What mattered so desperately at the time simply becomes a memory. It only mattered yesterday.
Available also on Kindle
Video trailer:

'The Little Christmas Angel' is a continuation of 'It Mattered Yesterday' but it could be read first as the story refers back to events in that book. The only possesion that Stella took with her from the grand house was the little angel that her son Jon had made at school when he was ten and given to her at Christmas. This story continues mainly with events in Jon's life and how it affects Stella. It has the same characters, but set in Cyprus. It is also based on true events and situations.
Continuation of 'It Mattered Yesterday'
'The Little Christmas Angel'

"A Moment to Remember, To Forgive, Divine" is another romantic fiction, for anyone who has loved and lost.
Each character has their own voice, and contributes to the overall storyline. It captures the essence of childhood, first love, heartbreak and tangled complications of love within a family life. The blend of Welsh countryside and Liverpool makes an interesting setting.
Now also on Kindle
Video trailer:

My book for young children is called, "Granny's Magic Garden." Is also available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle.
Trailer video link:

Fairies, Pixies and many other fantasy characters enchant children as they listen to stories about Granny's Magic Garden.
George, and Freddie share the same Daddy as Harvey and Saffie, so they are a special sort of family. All of them love to hear stories from their Granny about the mystical things that go on in her garden during the night. Also, some amazing things sometimes happen when they play in her garden during the day. Children can join George, Freddie, Harvey and Saffie as they explore the wonders of Granny's Magic Garden.

I began telling the stories found in this book to my own grandchildren when they were aged from 4 years to 8 years. They enjoyed them so much that I wanted to share them with other children.
It was a way of teaching, without 'telling'. They learnt reasons to do good things and why not to do bad things, from the actions of the fantasy characters. They learnt simple lessons in behaviour with laughter, at some of the funny things that some of the characters like the silly fair, Dirty Gertie says and does.
All children love magic and mystery and most of all humour. This book encourages reading as the print is easy to read and the stories are easy to follow.
I hope children everywhere will enjoy the stories found in Granny's Magic Garden.
All my books are available on Amazon and Kindle as well as B&N.

'Nobody's Pets In Cyprus' is a collection of stories about some of the dogs and cats I have rescued during the last 5 years. It shows how I have used the proceeds from my books to give them a better life.
Help an abandoned dog or cat PLEASE Download "Nobody's Pets In Cyprus" ... ... Proceeds help MORE!

I love all animals, and it is distressing to see so many abandoned dogs and cats here. One poor starving hunting hound, I called Fido, has now found a forever home in Berlin. He has even appeared on German TV! You can see his story in 'Nobody's Pets In Cyprus' KINDLE, and on Diane Griffith Animal Rescue Facebook Page:

Thanks for reading :-)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read...but.. 7 Aug. 2012
By Pritch
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a true story it was good, and the authors did well in describing the places and peoples they met. For anyone that has been to Greece and its Island (and not as a package tourist), you will share the reality of Greek hospitality and friendship.
The 'but' I had to add, as I thought some of the narrative was very simplistic and in my opinion not needed, but that just my personal opinion.

To have done what they did took some guts in the first place and yes, maybe they were what, dont think I could have done it and they will be the richer for it.

Must admit reading the part where they left brought back a lot of memories of similar Greek departures and leaving behind people you got to know and like - very powerful.

All in all a good read, narrative could have been punchier, but thats just the way I would have preferred it. Others will disagree.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not a PATCH! 5 Sept. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
As a Greek island lover and having read lots of books about the Greek Islands I found this book to be quite disappointing and as a previous reviewer has stated, the language quite simplistic. I am by no means a literary expert and just read for the enjoyment and particularly the dream of one day being brave enough to take the leap from tourist to resident!

I thought that the author was, at times quite disrespectful towards her Greek hosts and indeed wondered what they would have made of her observations of their lives. That said, it was an ok read but if you want to be moved, you simply HAVE to read Daniel Chatto 'The Greek for Love: Life, Love and Loss in Corfu', Of course the sublime 'Eleni' by Nick Gage and the subsequent novel 'A place for us' as well as his daughters book, the hilarious Lawrence Durell 'My family and other animals', the utterly brilliant 'Blue Skies And Black Olives: A Survivor's Tale Of Housebuilding And Peacock Chasing In Greece' by the newsreader John Humphreys and I also loved the John Moles book 'It's All Greek to Me! A Tale of a Mad Dog and an Englishman, Ruins, Retsina - and Real Greeks' and of course Jon waller's Greek Walls and Greek Sunset...Enjoy!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 23 Aug. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Diane comes over as the type of person you would avoid on holiday. I have only read 2 chapters so far, but find the harping on about "knowing the Greek language" tiring, I cannot understand the obssession they seem to have about a couple they met on holiday the year before. Also found many spelling errors (maybe this is down to the publishers) and, most annoying of all, the constant exclamation marks! An "!" after nearly every sentance, and I started counting them, rather than read the book. Found in two instances 4 exclamation marks in two 2-line paragraphs. The sun was out! I will carry on with the book, as I've paid for it, but certainly, unfortunately, not the best book by far about going to live in Greece (which I have done!) Sorry, excuse exclamation mark.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chasing dreams in Lefkas 7 Nov. 2009
Having read this book I have to say it will not be in the running for any literary prizes. It comes across as a somewhat sentimental and indulgent diary. This couple adopted a very naive approach to their adventure and were then surprised when their idea didn't enthuse everyone else. They seemed to have forgotten the saying "When in Rome do as the Romans do" and in this case "the Greeks" Once this dawned on them and they began to appreciate the Greeks for what and for who they are things started to improve all round. They were very fortunate to be on the receiving end of the famous Greek hospitality. The continual back slapping and American spelling might prove tedious to some. However if you like an easy read and a happy ending then you have it here. They did at least "have a go" and for that I say well done to them.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful true adventure story 30 April 2009
I thought that this book was a joy to read. It's a true story about how the author saved her husband from deep depression when faced with redundancy at a difficult age. The courageous duo sold or left their precious belongings behind them and embarked upon a remarkable journey that most of us wouldn't be brave enough to undertake. Almost two decades on so many people are facing financial crisis through circumstances beyond their control.It made me laugh out loud in many places, which can only be a good thing. Laughter is the best tonic, so they say, and this book gives plenty of real life humor as well as allowing the reader to enjoy the well described scenery and the quaint and quirky Greek characters. Coming from Greek origin myself I was especially interested in the portrayal of Greek people, the author descibes us so well! I found the book as lovable and amusing as watching `My Big Fat Greek Wedding', `Shirley Valentine' and `Zorba the Greek'. It's an absolutely delightful story and would make a fantastic movie. A great read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful 24 Feb. 2013
By sos
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is badly written, and a waste of money. I believe a lot of the 4 and 5 star reviews to be fake. My own review written after I had read the book a while ago disappeared without any explanation. There is some funny business going on here.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather pedantic 21 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found the book repetitive and the language used rather simplistic. I was unconvinced that the citizens of Lefkas were as enthusiastic about the enterprise as was described
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb author - if you enjoy a book on holiday this is the one to take...
Fantastic book, felt like I was traveling and experiencing the trip with them.
Published 1 month ago by frankie
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I couldn't put this book down. I found myself up till all hours. It was very inspiring. I Didn't want it to end.
Published 5 months ago by Jacquie
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story
Loved it it was such a nice story a really enjoyable read
Published 6 months ago by mrs c l housley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleasant read. Leaves you with a feeling that you have to go and have your own adventure.
Published 7 months ago by MRS D CASEY
3.0 out of 5 stars dreaming of holidays
pleasant enough read for a rainy day
Published 7 months ago by Andrew Pittis
4.0 out of 5 stars Once in a lifetime.
I really enjoyed living vicariously while reading this book. I wanted to be there. Not sure if I really approve of selling anything to support a lifestyle of leisure, albeit for... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Lizzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
really enjoyable couldn't put it down, could relate to the friendly greek people as have spent many happy holidays on the islands .
Published 11 months ago by sue
2.0 out of 5 stars Bit Boring
This book is OK but very repetitive. I didn't finish it as I say it is very repetitive!!!!! what more can I say
Published 13 months ago by P Ross
4.0 out of 5 stars holiday read
it could almost be a true story about a couple who are not sure where their life is going and it comes good in the end
Published 16 months ago by val hogan
4.0 out of 5 stars Greek dreams
A few weeks ago my husband and I returned from Kos. Within a few days we booked a week in Nidri- Lefkatha. We fly next week. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Shirley Wade
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